West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Southwest Design Review Board has taken its first look at 9049 20th SW [map] – a South Delridge project that will “alter” a building rather than raze/replace it – in the second half of this week’s doubleheader meeting.
Three board members were present for Thursday night’s review – chair Matt Zinski, Don Caffrey, and new appointee Crystal Loya – as was the project’s designated city planner, Sean Conrad. (Here’s our report on the first review of the night, the post-appeal return of 3078 SW Avalon Way.)
Since this was an Early Design Guidance review, it focused on the project’s “massing” – size, shape, placement on site – and the board was satisfied enough to forward it to the next phase. Here’s what happened first:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The saga of 3078 SW Avalon Way is not over yet.
Five years ago, the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 100+-apartment proposal packed the Senior Center second story with a room full of neighbors. Their concerns eventually resulted in an appeal that overturned the board’s final decision, and set up a fourth meeting last night, the first of two projects on the board’s agenda (we’ll report separately on the other).
The review drew only a single-digit turnout – not because of apathy or resignation, one neighbor contended – but because the city scheduled it during a holiday week when many people were traveling.
They have another chance to show up, because last night’s decision was to require one more meeting, as the current board members felt they were not provided enough information to make a final decision on the project.
The three board members present were chair Matt Zinski, Don Caffrey, and newly appointed member Crystal Loya. City planner Holly Godard was there for the Department of Construction and Inspections.
None of them were there when the project was reviewed for the first time in September 2012 (WSB coverage here); Godard was not the original planner, either. Even the architect has changed.
The project’s second review was in 2013, and its third in 2014. That would have been the final review except for the neighbors winning their appeal with a ruling in December 2014 (WSB coverage here), and that’s what led to this fourth meeting. Components of the appeal included whether the board had been appropriately apprised of what it had authority over – the building’s height, in particular. Godard read a lengthy summary of the appeal results to the board at the beginning of last night’s meeting, specifically guidelines involving height, bulk, and scale, and how those aspects of the project fit into its surroundings (a key point of contention for residents in the single-family neighborhood immediately north of the project as well as some neighbors in multi-family buildings).
What happened from there followed the framework of a standard design-review meeting, but because of its origins, the first part was relatively sparse, and that is part of why the board requested a return:
As reported here on Thursday, the city is giving you two extra weeks to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)’s Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals. The deadline is now August 7th. And another community group has announced a meeting about it. From the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council:
You’re invited to join WWRHAH on July 19th, from 6-7:30 pm at the Southwest Library, upstairs meeting room, 9010 35th Ave SW, to discuss in broad terms and as a community, the DEIS and how the neighborhood groups could respond as a coalition of voices in on behalf of the Westwood-Highland Park Residential Urban Village.
Westwood-Highland Park (map on page 2 of this document) is one of four urban villages in West Seattle. The HALA MHA rezoning proposals cover all multifamily and commercial property, whether in an urban village or not, and also single-family properties inside UV boundaries, which in some cases are proposed for expansion. The city has an online map you can use to see what the DEIS’s two rezoning options propose in your neighborhood (or any other part of the city that interests you).
(WSB video of the entire June 29th hearing, unedited)
Many people asked for a comment-period extension at last week’s public hearing on the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability Draft Environmental Impact Statement (our complete video of the hearing – apparently a rare commodity since the Seattle Channel wasn’t there – is above). Now, the city just announced it’s granting that request, extending the comment period by two weeks:
Today the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) extended the public comment period until August 7 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that studies three alternatives for zoning changes needed to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) in Seattle’s urban villages and other commercial and multifamily residential zones across the city.
“Due to a high volume of requests, both online and at a recent public hearing, we are extending the written comment period on this environmental study an additional 15 days,” said OPCD Director Sam Assefa. “While there is broad agreement on the need for more affordable housing across Seattle, these documents are lengthy and complex, and we want to honor these requests for more time for public review.”
The public can provide feedback on the environmental study using this online form or by e-mailing MHA.EIS@Seattle.gov.
The original deadline had been July 23rd.
Two and a half weeks left to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the rezoning proposals in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) component. If you’re in the Junction area and still sorting it out, a local community group invites you to a workshop next Tuesday:
Mark Your Calendar – HALA DEIS Workshop on July 11, 2017 at 6:30 p.m at the West Seattle Senior Center
The Junction Land Use Committee (JLUC) will present a summary of key portions of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement related to the proposed upzones on the Junction Urban Village. The workshop will also include a description of the impact of the upzones, actions you can take, and ways to help you identify additional areas on which you might wish to comment. Location: 4217 SW Oregon.
No summer slowdown for the Southwest Design Review Board. At its three upcoming meetings, which span the next month, it will consider four projects totaling 460 units as well as some commercial space:
THIS THURSDAY – 3078 SW AVALON WAY, 9049 20TH SW: The July 6th doubleheader for the board starts at 6:30 pm with a site that’s been in play off and on for years, 3078 SW Avalon Way (map; rendering above). As the design packet for this meeting explains, an appeal decision in 2014 sent this back to the board. It’s currently described as “a 7-story structure … 102 residential units (with offstreet) parking for 59 vehicles.” … Thursday night’s second review, at 8 pm, is the board’s first look at 9049 20th SW (map), described as:
… a 2-story addition to existing structure for 27 apartment units (22 apartments and 5 small efficiency dwelling units). Two stories to be demolished. Existing office space and storage to remain.
Parking would be provided in the garage at neighboring BlueStone Apartments. This is an Early Design Guidance meeting, so it’s focused on “massing” (height, shape, placement on the site), as reflected in the design packet.
JULY 20 – 4722 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: As we first reported in May, the entire July 20th time slot (6:30 pm-9:30 pm) will be devoted to the new proposal for 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW (map), which previously had been under consideration as a standalone CVS drugstore until that was quietly scrapped last year. Now, under different developers, this is the two-building plan:
… a 7-story building containing 233 residential units, 17 live-work units, and 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking to be provided for 250 vehicles within the structure. Existing structure to be demolished. (And) a four-story building containing one live-work unit and 49 residential units.
The design packet isn’t available yet.
AUGUST 3 – 8854 DELRIDGE WAY SW: Last August, we told you about an early-stage mixed-use proposal for this burned-out ex-auto-shop site (map). Its first Design Review Board appearance is now set for 6:30 pm August 3rd. It’s now described as “a four-story apartment building containing 31 units above retail space. Parking for 15 vehicles to be provided.”
All of the above meetings will be upstairs at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon, and all include opportunities for public comment.
(WSB video of the entire hearing, unedited)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At Wednesday night’s public hearing about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Affordability and Livability Act’s Mandatory Housing Affordability component, the most common comment was “give us more time to read, analyze, and react to it.”
The decision on that would have to be made by Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development director Sam Assefa, his staff said at meeting’s end, by which time he was not in sight, though he had given the introduction. OPCD’s Geoff Wendlandt offered that they weren’t likely to extend the July 23 deadline.
There also were several complaints that the hearing was not being broadcast by Seattle Channel (prompting a few people to ask us afterward where they would find our video).
37 people commented in almost an hour and a half. That was preceded by the classic open-house setup, with summaries on walls and easels around the room, listing points you otherwise would have to pull out of the 462-page DEIS, toplines of the alternatives it looked at, which propose different paces and types of rezoning and growth.
Toplines of what was said: Read More
Semi-quick reminder: While the public-comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s proposed rezoning is only about halfway over, the biggest public event is just three days away: A public hearing and open house at City Hall downtown (600 4th Ave.). As announced when the DEIS went public earlier this month, the event starts at 5:30 pm Thursday (June 29th), with public comment to follow a short briefing at 6:30 pm. The full document is linked from this city webpage, which has information on other ways to comment until the July 23rd deadline. If you haven’t been following the process until now, the rezoning would affect commercial/multifamily property throughout the city, as well as single-family property in urban villages (West Seattle has four – Admiral, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park), some of which would see expanded boundaries. The DEIS looks at two options for rezoning – you can use this interactive map to see whether/how each would affect your neighborhood.
A century-plus-old house at 6721 California SW is proposed for replacement with seven rowhouse townhouses, according to a proposal that just showed up in city files. The early-stage site plan in city files shows the units fronting onto SW Willow on the south side of the site, with five offstreet parking spaces alongside the units on the north side. This represents continued densification to match what the area is already zoned for; this site is zoned Lowrise 2, as is the rest of the block, part of which has already been redeveloped, as has the entire block to the south.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This week, we’re getting community councils’ first public take on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement published for the rezoning that’s at the heart of the city Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component.
Tonight, the Junction Neighborhood Organization talked about it during the first meeting led by new JuNO director Amanda Sawyer, who has taken over for longtime director René Commons, now serving as an advisor for the group. More than 20 people were in attendance.
LAND USE COMMITTEE ON HALA MHA DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Five days after the debut of the document (here’s our first report), Rich Koehler from the JuNO Land Use Committee presented a briefing, saying he had read all 400+ pages of the HALA MHA DEIS.
Koehler noted first that some of the MHA-related changes would conflict with the Junction’s longstanding Neighborhood Plan, so JuNO submitted a proposed comprehensive-plan amendment seeking to resolve the conflicts by taking the single-family-zoned areas out of the rezoning proposal. They had almost 250 signatures of support. The Morgan Community Association has done something similar. The amendment’s fate is up to the City Council.
Regarding the Draft EIS itself, he explained that this type of document is intended to assess the impact of the potential zoning changes on environmental factors – not just ecological – including transportation, utilities, etc. In the HALA MHA DEIS, “two new maps” accompany the DEIS, beyond the proposed rezoning map first unveiled last October. One map is “slightly less intensive and aggressive than what was proposed in the past,” and the other is “significantly more aggressive.” One lens through which the alternatives are presented is trying to minimize potential displacement. Another is mitigation, “telling city decisionmakers, we studied this, and these are things you could do to mitigate the impact.” Read More
A July 6th meeting is now scheduled for the Southwest Design Review Board, with these two projects:
3078 SW AVALON WAY, REVIVED: Back in 2014, neighbors won a fight over city planners’ contention that a ~100-apartment building proposed for this site was environmentally non-significant in some areas of consideration. But as noted in our report at the time, that didn’t mean the development was dead; the ruling ultimately said the project had to go back to the SW Design Review Board. And that’s what it’s doing at 6:30 pm Thursday, July 6th, front end of a doubleheader at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). The project, in the works since 2012, is still described on the city website as 7 stories, ~100 apartments, and ~60 parking spaces; the newest proposed design should be available when the July 6th meeting gets closer.
9049 20TH SW, EXPANDED: The headquarters of STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) would get two added floors with 22 apartments and 5 microstudios in the project to be reviewed at 8 pm. The newest site plan also says the building footprint would be expanded for added office space at ground level. Any required parking would be provided in the garage of STS-owned Bluestone Apartments next door at 9051 20th SW.
SPEAKING OF DESIGN REVIEW: As reported here last week, some big changes are proposed for the process, and comments are being taken now.
Lots of interesting commercial-real-estate listings in West Seattle right now. Here are two of note:
(King County Assessor’s photo)
The listing has its own website, with this note:
Offering includes a 14,375 SF land parcel that allows for development of a possible 78 multi-family units at an average of 650 square feet per unit or a possible 110 hotel units at 420 square feet.
Existing commercial structure offers high cash flow that could be utilized until such time that the site is developed or kept as a investment opportunity.
The site is zoned NC3-65, meaning new construction could go up about six floors.
EX-SUBSTATION FOR SALE AS HOME SITE: When the city decided to sell half a dozen former substation sites around West Seattle, community groups that wanted some to remain as open space were given some time to raise money to buy them. In Fauntleroy, time ran out for 4520 Brace Point Drive, and it was put up for sale for $350,000 as a home site.
The listing flyer doesn’t mention it’s an ex-substation. On the Commercial MLS site, the single-family-zoned, 6,848-square-foot property’s status is described as “pending,” meaning a potential sale is apparently already in the works.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you want to settle into the weekend with a little light reading, consider the 460+ pages of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component (let’s just call it the HALA MHA DEIS for short).
Since it officially went public on Thursday, we’ve been looking through the HALA MHA DEIS in order to present the first in a series of “what you need to know about it” – or, ways to wade through it – reports, rather than just slapping up a news release and a link and moving on. While the comment period runs a month and a half, its marquee event – a City Hall public hearing – is only three weeks away.
The Draft EIS is the next major step in the process we have been closely covering since last October, when the draft maps showing proposed rezoning appeared online. The point of HALA MHA is to require developers to set aside a certain percentage of their projects as affordable housing, or to pay a fee into a city fund that will pay for affordable housing somewhere else. In exchange, zoning increases to give them more capacity – on average, an extra floor. But other proposed changes are more complex, such as upzoning all single-family areas in urban villages, and expanding urban-village boundaries in some areas (the West Seattle Junction Hub Urban Village is proposed for some of this). Read More
If a proposed development project is going to have any public meeting at all, Design Review is the only city process that allows for one – and not all projects qualify.
Now the city is proposing big changes to the process, and they’re out today. First, the official announcement from the Department of Construction and Inspections, followed by some highlights from our review of a key summary:
Our proposed amendments to the Land Use Code are intended to improve the overall function of the program to enhance the efficiency and predictability of the project review process, improve dialogue amongst applicants, and make the program more transparent and accessible to the community.
The Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda recommended changes to the Design Review program to streamline process and reduce the cost of building housing. In addition, program changes focus on development projects most likely to influence the character of a neighborhood and incorporate many of the recommendations from the report we released in March 2016.
Key proposals in the legislation include:
*Simplify and raise the thresholds for projects subject to design review, switching from a variety of thresholds based on use, residential units, and zoning to simple square footage thresholds that respond to the complexity of a site and type of project.
*Create a new “hybrid” process that allows one phase of design review to be handled administratively and the remainder by the design review board.
*Affordable housing proposals have the option of an entirely administrative review process.
*Require that all applicants for projects going through design review conduct outreach to the communities near their projects before they begin design review.
The legislation would also modify the composition of design review boards, modify the review process for exceptional trees in Title 25, and update and clarify other provisions related to design review.
We anticipate making final recommendations to the Mayor later in 2017. An environmental decision (SEPA) on the draft legislation is also available. This decision is subject to a comment and appeal period that runs until June 29. Please submit comments on the proposal and the environmental decision to:
City of Seattle, Seattle DCI
Attn: William Mills
P.O. Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124-7088
The documents specific to the proposed changes are linked here.
If you just want to get right to the changes – go to this document and start on page 5.
Most notably, this means many projects that do qualify for Design Review would get fewer public meetings – in a new “hybrid” process, the Early Design Guidance phase would be handled by city staff, and then the board would have a public meeting for the Recommendations phase, at least one, no more than two.
A new requirement for early community outreach – something some developers have engaged in voluntarily – is detailed starting on page 10.
Starting on page 15, the report describes how the changes would affect the volume of projects going through Design Review. Fewer than half the projects that go through full Design Review today would do so under the new proposals.
The full proposed ordinance – City Council approval is required – is here.
Two microhousing (aka “small efficiency dwelling units”) notes:
8600 DELRIDGE WAY SW: City files reveal an early-stage proposal to replace a 77-year-old single-family house on a 4,327-square-foot lot at 8600 Delridge Way SW (map) with 10 “small efficiency dwelling units.” The tentative site plan shows them all at street level; the lot is zoned Lowrise 2. Documents in the file indicate the developer is talking with the city to clarify issues including lot coverage and zoning before making a formal application for the project.
SMALLER UNITS? This week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin included a notice about a proposed “director’s rule” change that would allow smaller SEDUs. The summary:
The draft Director’s Rule 9-2017 for Small Efficiency Dwelling Units (SEDU) outlines criteria that allows design flexibility to create living spaces smaller than required by Seattle Building Code (SBC) Section 1208.4 for Efficiency Dwelling Units (EDU), commonly called studio apartments, and provides a method for developers to achieve the 220 SF minimum unit size specified by the Seattle Land Use Code.
Thanks to Vy Duong for the photo of a bungalow demolition today at 1118 Alki SW. The 97-year-old house and its 75-year-old neighbor at 1122 Alki SW are to be replaced by a six-story, 11-apartment building. (We first mentioned the project in December 2015.) County records say the two sites were sold in late April for $1.5 million each.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The next milestone in the process of shaping the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda component known as Mandatory Housing Affordability will come next week.
That’s when the draft Environmental Impact Statement will be made public, the City Council was told this morning.
That announcement came from Office of Planning and Community Development‘s Sara Maxana, a key staffer working on HALA, toward the end of a council briefing on the Community Design Workshops held in the city’s 17 urban villages as part of the HALA MHA feedback process.
Councilmember Rob Johnson‘s office organized the workshops, and this morning’s briefing featured his staff’s point person for them, Spencer Williams, as well as John Howell from Cedar River Group, one of the consulting firms that facilitated them, along with Makers Architects. The slide deck above is the summary of what they say they heard in the workshops (and it’s here in PDF).
We monitored this morning’s briefing and discussion via Seattle Channel; here’s the video – the briefing starts about 43 minutes in:
West Seattle’s design workshops were held for each of the four WS urban villages:Read More
An Alki-area resident called to tell us that while walking along the California Way hill today, he noticed a demolition crew at the vacant house at the top of the development site that also includes the former Alki Tavern (now 4+ years closed). We subsequently confirmed that indeed, the long-in-the-works project at 1307 Harbor Avenue SW is getting going. West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes tells WSB, “Chinn Construction has started a ‘soft’ demolition (pulling fixtures, toilets, etc.) and will have a preconstruction meeting with the City of Seattle next week. We are thrilled. The site will get cleaned up quickly and then you will see us transition into construction.” Rhodes had told us back in January that the project team was eager to get the vandalized structures cleared from the site but the city permit process has been bogged down. The project won final Design Review Board approval almost a year and a half ago.
It is planned as a six-floor mixed-use building with 15 residential units, office and “light manufacturing” space, ground-floor retail/commercial, 41 offstreet parking spaces, and a public hillclimb/breezeway between California Way and Harbor SW.
(Rendering courtesy Hewitt Architects)
Local PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) customers have a little over one more week to shop at the current West Seattle store before it closes for construction of a new mixed-use project that includes a new, bigger store. But even during construction, you’ll have shopping options, as noted in this reminder shared by PCC today:
As a reminder of news shared on February 17th, PCC Natural Markets’ (PCC) West Seattle store at 2749 California SW will be closing after May 31st for redevelopment. The new West Seattle PCC, at the same location, is slated to re-open in mid-to-late 2019.
“Many PCC members and shoppers have asked about the future of the West Seattle PCC staff,” said Cate Hardy, PCC Natural Markets CEO. “Because we are community-owned, we were able to locate new opportunities within the co-op for almost all of the staff at our other 10 area stores. While all staff were offered an opportunity to stay with PCC, some staff preferred to stay in West Seattle and pursue opportunities outside PCC.”
During the closure, West Seattle shoppers can still visit the Columbia City PCC and, in early 2018, the new Burien PCC. For those shoppers who crave organic produce, organic and non-GMO meats, and PCC deli favorites like the Emerald City and Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salads, PCC will continue to provide delivery to West Seattle through both Instacart and PrimeNow.
PCC says you can sign up for its e-mail newsletter/alerts by going here.
BACKSTORY: The PCC-site project has been in the works for almost a year; last May, Madison Development Group bought the site where PCC has long been a tenant. News of a redevelopment project ensued; then in July, PCC announced it had reached agreement to be the retail tenant in the project, which also will include more than 100 apartments.
The first Southwest Design Review Board hearing has been set for the newest project proposed at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, where a single-story CVS drugstore was planned for three years until it was unceremoniously scrapped last year. And we know more about the project now, too.
July 20th is the date that just appeared on the schedule for the two-building project we first told you about last December. At the time, details were few. Now, the meeting docket on the city website includes this:
Design Review Early Design Guidance application proposing … a 7-story building containing 233 residential units, 17 live-work units, and 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking to be provided for 250 vehicles within the structure. Existing structure to be demolished. (And) a four-story building containing one live-work unit and 49 residential units.
Though the meeting listing doesn’t mention offstreet parking for the smaller building, a document mentions “30 parking stalls” under three residential floors.
This is all set for what’s becoming West Seattle’s most-redeveloped block – across from The Whittaker (WSB sponsor), and north of 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW, which just finished going through Design Review. With the 4722 Fauntleroy hearing almost two months away, no design renderings are in city files yet, but we’re contacting developers Legacy Partners – who you might know for Youngstown Flats (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge – to find out if they have anything to share. (Documents show LP is now working with Encore Architects on this project.)
The July 20th meeting is set to start at 6:30 pm at the SWDRB’s usual meeting spot, the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon).
It’s been a while since the last city meeting scheduled by community request for a project that otherwise wouldn’t get one. Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin brings the official notice of one meeting May 25th for these two microhousing (what the city calls Small Efficiency Dwelling Units) projects:
In response to requests from community members, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) will hold a public meeting to gather comments on two projects located at 5952 California Avenue SW (Project No. 3024606) and 6016 California Avenue SW (Project No. 3025264). This meeting is being held jointly due to the close proximity of both projects to one another. The two separate proposals under review are described as follows:
Project No. 3024606, 5952 California Avenue SW [design packet here] Land Use Application to allow a 4-story apartment building with 29 small efficiency dwelling units and 6 apartment units (35 units total). Surface parking for 5 vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished.
Project No. 3025264, 6016 California Avenue SW [design packet here] Land Use application to allow a 3-story structure containing 36 small efficiency dwelling units and 2 live-work units. Existing structures to be demolished.
Both projects need approval through the Administrative Design Review (one of two types that don’t go to the Design Review Board) and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) processes. We first wrote about the 5952 California SW project one year ago, and first wrote about the 6016 California SW proposal last August. Both have changed their proposed number of units since then (fewer for 5952, more for 6016); both have the same architect, Hybrid. They’re in the same block as the greater Morgan Junction area’s first microhousing building, 5949 California SW.
The May 25th meeting will start at 6 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon)
Those big white-with-small-black-print signs that mark proposed development sites could be changing. This week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin includes notices premiering the new format the city wants to change to – the one you see atop this story. The intent is to provide more information, more readably, about the proposed project. This notice explains what prospective developers would be required to do; this notice explains how to comment before a final decision is made about the change – the deadline is May 23rd, two weeks from today. Unless something major comes up, the city hopes the new sign format will be in use starting next month.
P.S. In a Twitter exchange about the proposed sign-format change, we mentioned to @SeattleDCI that the ubiquity of tagging vandalism on the current-format signs seemed to be one of the biggest hindrances to their readability. In response, they told us that vandalized signs should be reported to email@example.com so they can be cleaned or replaced.
This Saturday is the city’s next West Seattle “open house” about HALA – the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, which has drawn the most attention in the past six months for its proposed MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) component. MHA seeks to upzone commercial and multifamily property around the city, and single-family property in urban villages, to give developers added capacity in exchange for either locking in a percentage of units as “affordable,” or contributing a set sum to a city fund that will be used to build “affordable” projects somewhere else. If you haven’t already checked to see what’s proposed for your neighborhood, here’s the citywide interactive map. Plus, we’ve learned that a new tool will be offered at Saturday’s open house:
You could say it’s HALA gone “holo.” Morgan Junction community advocate and citizen land-use watchdog Cindi Barker found out about it by going to a version of the open house held in the Northgate area last weekend. She discovered that the city is now offering “before”-to-“after” views of the proposed changes, including what she describes as “a station where you could put on a 3D lens/helmet and you ‘walked’ down the block and watched the older existing buildings go away and buildings built to the new zoning come in.” The technology the city is using is Microsoft HoloLens.
Saturday’s open house is 10 am-noon (May 6th) at Westside School (10404 34th SW; WSB sponsor) in Arbor Heights. Besides the opportunity to learn about and comment on the HALA proposals – including West Seattle’s four urban villages and South Park – the city says it’s expecting booths/tables for other initiatives/agencies: Age Friendly Seattle, Design Review (changes), Natural Drainage, Play Streets, Open Space Plan, Democracy Vouchers, Neighborhood Streets and Greenways Projects (SDOT), and Metro Transit.